By: Mahmoud Gamal
Dubai - Mubasher: Gold markets across GCC member states are set to witness higher demand ahead of the Mother’s Day celebrations and weddings season, following a decline in demand in the first two months of 2019 when prices of the precious metal had increased.
In the UAE, gold prices rose 3.5% in the period from the end of 2018 until 23 February, statistics conducted by Mubasher showed.
The price of 24-Karat gold in the UAE rose AED 5.31 ($1.45) to AED 156.77 ($43.6) per gram, while the price per ounce soared to AED 4,711.01 ($1,282.40).
In Saudi Arabia, the 24-Karat gold price hiked to SAR 160.09 ($42.67) per gram last year, whereas 18-Karat gold registered SAR 120.06 ($32) per gram.
As for Kuwait, the gold prices increased 3.5% year-on-year during this period, with 21-Karat gold price going up KWD 0.39 to KWD 11.3 ($37.12), while the price per ounce levelled up to KWD 401.56 ($1,316.90).
Meanwhile, the price of the precious metal in 24-Karat grew in Qatar to QAR 163.07 ($44.56) per gram, while the price per ounce amounted to QAR 5,072.06 ($1,386.09).
The recent rise in prices of the precious metal have led to a slowdown in gold markets since the beginning of February; although overall demand for new gold jewellery has improved since the beginning of 2019, gold analysts and officials at gold and jewellery shops told Mubasher.
Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day celebrations
Gold sales in Dubai and the GCC region in general have improved with the beginning of the year and ahead of Dubai Shopping Festival (DFS), Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group (DGJG) chairman Tawhid Abdullah told Mubasher.
Rising prices have encouraged investors to purchase the precious metal at the beginning of the year as gold prices are projected to see further increases, he noted.
The attractive promotions at the DFS from the end of December until the beginning of February have enhanced the gold sales, which exceeded AED 10 billion ($2.72 billion).
The top official forecast higher gold sales with the new promotions for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, which tend to attract buyers.
Amid expectations of the US Federal Reserve keeping US interest rates unchanged this year, investors are more likely to invest in gold, whose price is projected to increase to $1,450 per ounce before the end of the year, Abdullah noted.
It is worth noting that local UAE markets witnessed a recession when the value-added tax (VAT) was imposed. However, gold was exempted from the VAT.
Abdullah expects global gold prices to return to $1,450 this year, while gold sales in the GCC are to rise 7% in 2019 as Gulf governments will pump further funds into infrastructure and petrochemical projects.
For his part, Sabayik Al Kuwait's CEO Rajab Hamed affirmed that gold will witness higher demand ahead of the Mother’s Day celebrations in the GCC region.
Translated by: Zeinab Adel